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An Emerald City Comic Con 2018 Debriefing

An ECCC 2018 Debriefing

At the beginning of March (a few weekends ago, now) I joined ninety-five thousand others in attending Emerald City Comic Con in my hometown of Seattle, Washington. This year the convention was extended to four days—I skipped Thursday but visited Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday. As is the tradition around here, it’s time for a convention debriefing.

🌤 Friday

I had to get a picture of, Android Cosplay's amazing take on classic Nightcrawler
Android Cosplay’s classic take on Nightcrawler

Friday started oddly but finished great. I learned a valuable lesson about con-attendee me—I need to have things to do. The one panel I wanted to attend was full, so I spent a good portion of the day poking around the show floor and getting the lay of the land. I swung by the tables of a few author friends, Lee French had a table, as did Matt Youngmark (Go buy their books!) and I managed to get a few pictures of some great cosplayers. (Including Android Cosplay’s classic take on Nightcrawler in the image on the left.)

Around 2 PM, I took a break and went home to get some writing done. Later, I returned met up with Lars Brown. Lars is a talented comic creator. (His Penultimate Quest series was one of my favorite graphic novels from 2016. You should buy them.) Together, we stuck around the con for a bit, then went to dinner. All in all, it was a relaxing—if not somewhat quiet—first day.

☀ Saturday

On Saturday I was joined by my friend and fellow author Steve Toutonghi (his new book Side Life is coming out in April, you should preorder it.) Together we hit up a bunch of panels. My favorite was probably Books as Flint: Using Graphic Novels to Spark Political Activism. It was a discussion on the power of stories and how graphic novels (this was a comic convention after all) can often bridge the gap and open conversations on topics such as politics, race, religion, misogyny, and bigotry. The panelists were passionate and knowledgeable, and everyone had great thoughts about inclusion and activism in the comic space. Lessons that could easily be applied to novels as well.

My friend (and very talented woodworker) Steve Leroux and his daughter as the Weighted Companion Cube and Chell from Valve's Portal series
My friend (and very talented woodworker) Steve Leroux and his daughter as the Weighted Companion Cube and Chell from Valve’s Portal series

Steve and I also attended Family-friendly Fantasy: Keeping It PG in the Age of Grimdark & Game of Thrones and another on called 10 Points to Slytherin: Why Good Fans Love Evil Characters. Both were excellent and much better than I expected and both sparked some good conversation.

Oh! While waiting for one panel, we randomly slipped into a conversation with Shannon Purser (Barb from Stranger Things, y’all)—it was fun. Lots of kids with questions and Purser was kind, articulate, open, and honest. I’m generally not one for celebrity panels like that, but I found myself enjoying it.

🌧 Sunday

Writing the Future Panel - [Left to Right] Sylvain Neuvel, Michael Miller, AdriAnne Strickland, Annalee Newitz, Chuck Wendig, Jason Hough
Writing the Future Panel – [Left to Right] Sylvain Neuvel, Michael Miller, AdriAnne Strickland, Annalee Newitz, Chuck Wendig, Jason Hough
I had only two panels Sunday, and once again Steve Toutonghi joined me. Our first panel was What Do I Read Now (and Where Do I Start)? hosted by a group of local librarians, and the premise was they’d recommended books based on other properties people liked. It was fun. I did take issue when one of the panelists mentioned recommending only finished series. I bring this up because I feel it’s an important topic. The best way you can support a series as a fan is to read it as its published. Waiting until it’s finished can often kill a series. Publishers make decisions based on sales. So even if you want to wait until you have them all, buy the books (or check them out from your library) as they come out. It’ll make a big difference.

Our final panel of the weekend was Writing the Future (pictured above), and it was interesting. The room filled up fast, there was loads of audience participation. Afterward, a friend asked me if I had any new takeaways. My honest answer was no—I didn’t hear anything new or revelatory. If anything it was nice to see veteran writers reaffirm my choices.

Leaving ECCC—for now.
Leaving ECCC

So, that was my ECCC! There was so much I missed, and I felt like I had my schedule pretty well planned. Overall ECCC is excellently run and well managed—I appreciated all the hard work keeping the crowds organized. It’s not simple with that many people, and the staff and volunteers excelled at keeping everything under control. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes as the Seattle Convention Center expands.

I was thrilled I spent the time I did—next year I’m hoping to go longer and actually sit on a few panels and making do some gaming. (Gaming was sorely missing from my ECCC 2018 experience. Would have liked to play Mansions of Madness or jumped into a Call of Cthulhu session.) I also want to extend a big thank you to my friends Steve and Lars for hanging out with me, having friends willing to pal around made a big difference.

Thanks for a great convention Emerald City—it was a lot of fun.

Have a convention you’d like me to attend? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. Remember, You can keep track of where I’ll be and read previous convention debriefing over on my Upcoming Appearances page.

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I'm Going to ECCC

ECCC Starts Today—Let’s Hang Out

Today is the start of Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle’s premiere comic convention. It’ll run through Sunday, and it’ll be busy. Last year there were 90k people in attendance, and I’m sure this year will be much the same. (When I last checked most tickets are sold out.)

I will be present—but I won’t be showing up until tomorrow morning. I plan on being around Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m not paneling or running a table so there’s no specific place you’ll see me, but I’ll be exploring everything. I expect to be hitting up a lot of the fiction panels—there’s quite a few that have piqued my interest. So keep an eye out, and don’t hesitate to say hello. We can high-five and stuff.

If you want to keep track of where I am, I recommend two places:

  • Twitter: @KM_Alexander

    While I’ve decreased my tweeting over the last year, this is when it’ll be convenient. Odds are I’ll be using Twitter a lot, sharing what it is I see and hear.

  • Instagram: @kmalexander

    As I take photos, I generally like to share them here. So if you enjoy black and white photography, and you’re interested in seeing whatever it is I find exciting I recommend following me here.

I hope everyone has a fun, safe, healthy, and respectful convention. Should be a great time and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone.


I'm Going to ECCC

I’m Going to ECCC

In a few weeks, I’m going to be attending Emerald City Comicon 2018 here in Seattle. But, this won’t be my typical “Come See Me At [Con Name Here] Post” only because this will be a bit different from my other appearances. While I will be attending ECCC as a pro, as of right now, I won’t be on any panels, and I’m not running a table. Instead, I’ll be paling around with my friend and fellow author Steve Toutonghi, and taking my time to enjoy ECCC. The plan is to reconnect with some friends, sit in on a few panels, maybe hit up the show floor, and do some networking.

Hey #ECCC, I’ll see you real soon. 👀

A post shared by K. M. Alexander (@kmalexander) on

If you’re attending, let me know! I’d happily meet up with any readers, and I’ve love to chat with you. If you see me out and about, please stop me and say hello! I’m as much a fan as I am a writer and I love talking with readers and fellow fans. I’m really looking forward to the convention, it’s been years (eight?) since I’ve attended ECCC and I can’t wait to lose myself in the craziness for a few days.

ECCC runs March 1st–4th at the Washington State Convention Center here in Seattle. You can find out way more info over on the official site. As of this post, there are still tickets available for Thursday and Friday. But they’ll go fast, so don’t wait.

Should be a good time. I hope to see you there!


The Stars Were Right at ECCC!

Get The Stars Were Right at Emerald City Comic Con
Right: Andrew Wilson‘s ConGirl (Detail) Left: The Stars Were Right

Sadly I will be absent from #ECCC this year. However that doesn’t mean a few copies of The Stars Were Right won’t be attending! My friend Andrew Wilson has graciously given up a bit of table space at his booth and it is there you’ll find signed copies of The Stars Were Right for a con only price of $10!

Andrew is an amazing illustrator and artist and he has a ton of awesome books and prints for sale of his own. Make sure you check it all out at BOOTH 702. He’s throwing in free postcards with any purchase and you’ll also find three flavors of free bookmarks available just because I love you. Who doesn’t love free swag?

Free Bookmarks
3 Bookmarks (Left to Right) – Skeletons, Saint Olmstead, and Russel & Sons

Look for the big Andrew Wilson ConGirl banner (pictured in the header) and make stop by and say hello. Have a great #ECCC! Wish I could be there with ya’ll!